Don’t Get Ready
I watch a lot of baseball. This is no surprise to those who know me. I love everything about being at a game, the smells of the ballpark, the crowds, the food. I love the game itself, the strategy, the mental aspects, the science behind the curve ball. I even like that it is a slow game, giving you time to appreciate all the aspects of it.
I was watching the Cubs tonight and the video cut to the bullpen. The announcer declares that Carl Edwards Jr. is “getting ready”. That made me think of Andy Mineo. (Yes, this is how my brain works)
I saw him in concert last week (amazing by the way, you should see him if you ever get a chance) and he said something that has stuck with me since. He said “if you stay ready, you don’t gotta get ready.”
So many times we operate from the defense instead of the offense. We are reactive instead of proactive. We try to get ready instead of focusing on staying ready. It plays out in many areas of our lives. You know how it is, you wait to clean your house until someone is coming over. Or you wait to put gas in the car until the light has been on for two days. Or you wait to practice that song for Sunday until a few hours before rehearsal. Or you wait to write that lesson or plan that game until right before the teenagers show up on Wednesday night. In all these situations there is risk…risk of a someone seeing your messy house or running out of gas, of not knowing your music, of not having your lesson together. These would all be unfortunate consequences of trying to get ready, but I will suggest there are others times we operate this way with far greater risks.
Our relationship with God
When we operate from this position in our relationship with God, we end up with a shallow, ineffective spiritual life. When we wait to cry out in prayer until we need God right now instead of cultivating that relationship day in and day out, our prayers become need focused instead of love driven, they become selfish and impatient, The result will be a prayer life based on our circumstances instead of simply desiring to spend time with Jesus. When we wait to read and study scripture until we need something from it, our time in the word is rushed and we miss the prompting of the Spirit that gives the word life, When we wait to worship until we feel like it, we miss the beauty and healing that comes with worshiping out of our brokenness.
Our relationship with Others
I ran into an old friend today and talked for a few minutes and ended with “we need to have coffee soon”. As she walked away, I remembered that the last time I had a real conversation with her was when she was going through a difficult time.
How about that person you need to talk to about Jesus but you are just not ready? How about that church member you need to have a tough conversation with but you are just not ready? How about that person you need to encourage or forgive (ouch) but you are just not ready? In all these situations, the Gospel suffers because we are not ready? Our inability to stay prepared hinders the work of the Kingdom.
The scripture tells us to always be prepared. In other words, if you stay ready, you don’t gotta get ready. If you stay in a growing relationship with God, you don’t gotta get ready for him to answer you or work in your life, He will already be doing that. If you invest in relationships with others, you don’t gotta get ready to talk to them or disciple them or forgive them. it will come from the overflow of that relationship. If you are a church leader and you don’t stay ready, your ministry, your church will suffer.
If you stay ready, you don’t gotta get ready. Stay ready my friend, pursue diligence. Live a life playing offense. Work and minister from the overflow of your relationships with God and others. And then, watch all you do be transformed.
Love and Peace Out!